Some of the biggest names in the Midlands’ cuisine and brewing have come together to create a new craft beer bar in Birmingham.
Simpsons chef-patron Andreas Antona, Purity Brewing Company managing director Paul Halsey and former Mitchells and Butlers director Martin Hilton have joined forces to create Pure Bar and Kitchen in Waterloo Street, Birmingham city centre.
The company aims to tap into the growth of craft and cask beer by offering a range of ales accompanied by suitable food.
The first bar will create dozens of jobs, but the trio have plans to develop a further four sites within five years.
The team have all invested their own cash, but have also secured potential funding from the Birmingham Post Growth Fund, to amass more than £450,000 for the enterprise.
Mr Hilton said: “Craft and cask beer is a growing market. Although the overall beer and pub market has been shrinking, within that, these markets are going well.
“Cask beer is growing by something like 15 per cent a year, and craft beer enjoyed a rise of 79 per cent just in the last year.
“A lot of the pubs across the country, and in Birmingham, are selling just the standard products – Carling, Carlsberg, Stella Artois – this is going to be something completely different.”
Mr Antona added: “The Pure Bar and Kitchen brings together Paul’s passion and knowledge of beer with my 30 years experience working with food and 10 years setting up restaurants.
“The concept has been many months in the planning but we now have everything in place to create a relaxed, friendly environment, serving high quality beers alongside a carefully selected menu.
“Pure Bar and Kitchen should be a welcome and popular addition to the central Birmingham pub and bar scene.”
Mr Hilton told the Post the bar would open this winter – although they have not decided whether to open before after Christmas.
While dozens of pubs are closing every week craft beer is bucking the trend, with 74 million pints being sold last year, a rise of 79 per cent.
It now accounts for 1.9 per cent of total beer volumes, and draught sales actually grew by 84 per cent last year.
The new bar spans 4,500 sq ft over two floors and Mr Hilton said there will be atmospheric folk and jazz music, along with the occasional live music session.
The addition to the city’s craft scene follows the opening of Brewdog in John Bright Street last year, and Mr Hilton said the new operation would complement that bar. We have a really good relationship with them,” he said. “The craft beer scene is very friendly – ultimately it is about craft and artisan products.
“Brewdog is positioning craft beer for a younger clientele. We are marketing at a wider range, and it is far more linked to food.”
Along with restaurant-quality food, Pure has also established links with Birmingham School of Art, and artwork will be on show throughout the premises.
Mr Hilton said ‘atmosphere’ would be vital to the new operation, and he would seek to ensure it was a selling point.
He said: “We will be looking at pricing. It won’t be cheap, so it won’t be a place for someone to come and drink 10 pints.
“We will be seeking to control that to get the right atmosphere.”